You Are the Music: For Graduation and End of Year

recommended by Jen Sper and Lora Moore, School Choral Music Specialists

Graduation marks the end of one chapter for seniors and the start of a new exciting one! As your singers look forward to the journey ahead, saying goodbye to friends is not easy. To capture all of the various moments of the graduation ceremony, consider these new octavos to match what they (and you!) are feeling as they rock that cap and gown!

dreamer of dreams patti drennanDreamer of Dreams by Patti Drennan, SATB with piano and optional flute
“Dare to dream, dare to fly, dare to be the one to reach for the sky. Believe in yourself and your plan; don’t say ‘I can’t,’ but ‘I can,’ and dare to be a dreamer of dreams.” An uplifting, hope-filled message suited for every generation is carried by a gentle, lightly rhythmic melody. Optional divisi notes are indicated throughout. Especially appropriate for a moving-on ceremony.

I Will Sing You the Stars by Mark Burrows, SATB with piano
“You are not alone, love will call you home.” A theme of love and connection lies at the heart of this stunning piece with words written from father to daughter on the occasion of her graduation. The expressive vocal lines and warm choral harmonies perfectly embody the sincerity of the lyrics. An irresistible, expressive gem in any voicing.

irish blessing mary lynn lightfootAn Irish Blessing by Mary Lynn Lightfoot, SATB with piano
Lightfoot’s sensitive, poignant setting of the traditional Irish text is filled with expressivity and emotion. Beautiful melodies abound, leading to a reflective, contemplative ending. It is equally appropriate for school or church use throughout the year, especially as a concert closer or choral benediction.

My Companion by Elaine Hagenberg, SATB divisi a cappella
This is a tender setting of a text by American poet Edith Franklin Wyatt that speaks of companionship and the joys of sharing it as we travel along the road of life. Hagenberg employs her characteristically rich harmonic language to create a piece with great depth and immediacy.

You Are the Music by Victor C. Johnson, SATB with piano
Based on selected lines from Amy Lowell’s inspiring poem “Listening,” this artful setting is replete with warm, lyrical melodies, expressive legato vocal lines, rich harmonies and a serenely flowing accompaniment. Johnson has created a stunning concert/festival showcase that will capture the hearts and emotions of both singers and audiences.

i will fly tom sheltonI Will Fly by Tom Shelton, 3-part mixed with piano and optional violin
This stirring original exudes an important message filled with confidence, determination, and hope for a bright future, making it an ideal choice for graduation or end of the year performances. The violin part lends warmth and color, and the soaring descant helps propel the momentum to its musical apex before the quiet, contemplative ending.

I carry your heart by Toby Young, SSATBB a cappella
Skillfully set to the tender words of the poet E. E. Cummings, ‘I carry your heart’ is an unaccompanied secular work originally for men’s voices, but rescored by the composer in this version for women and men. The piece was commissioned by the acclaimed close-harmony group, The King’s Men, and was recorded on their album “Love from King’s.”

we are the day mark burrowsWe Are the Day! by Mark Burrows, 2-part with piano and optional percussion
With lyrics inspired by candid conversations with 4th-graders, the inspiring, powerful message of this song is the voices of all children proclaiming “Look out world, here we are! We are the here and now. We are the day!” They are the wonder-bearers of our world and can do amazing things right now if we give them the chance. Percussion parts for shakers, snare drum and conga drums are included in this concert/festival winner for young voices.

Need more graduation inspiration? Browse our website, or contact us to brainstorm! Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Authors:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.

Lora Moore joined the Stanton’s choral staff in July 2018. A former middle school and high school director of 32 years, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Choral Music from Capital University and a Master’s of Arts in Choral Music from The Ohio State University. Currently she is a church choir director, operates a private voice/piano studio and is active as a clinician and accompanist. During the off hours, Lora enjoys scouting out new day trips in Ohio to balance what her budget allows for her frequent trips to New York City to visit family and take in a Broadway show or two!

Categories: New Publications, School Choral, Staff Picks

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